What are your primary motivations for changing your eating and exercise habits? Weight loss obviously may be at top of the list, but being thinner doesn’t necessarily mean one is automatically healthier. Improving health status, physically and mentally, requires a multi-faceted approach. Therefore, the outcomes will manifest in a variety of ways too.
Unfortunately, for far too long, contemporary mainstream culture has perpetuated many negative stereotypes about being overweight. So much so, that it’s not uncommon for obese individuals to report having been verbally abused by family, friends or even strangers. Acknowledging how this type of stigmatization impacts their overall quality of life, in addition to how their medical concerns are perceived, is finally becoming a priority in the wellness industry.
The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) explains anti-fat bias (also known as fatphobia) as the belief “people become fat through neglect of their health; that fat people are lazy; and that fat people are non-compliant with health recommendations.” Such preconceived notions can lead to bullying, body shaming and institutional discriminatory practices. If you have or currently are experiencing any of the aforementioned, seek assistance from someone you trust. You do not deserve to be insulted, ignored or harmed in any way because of your body shape or size.
It is impossible to determine how healthy a person is solely based on outward appearance. Also, demeaning comments and cruelty should never be used as tactics to get you to eat less or work out more. Related concepts it may be useful to learn about, especially in regard to advocating for yourself in clinical settings, include patient-centered care, life-enhancing movement, body grief and ableism.
TOPS staff and regional leaders are committed to ensuring all spaces in which our community gathers and interacts remain safe, welcoming environments. This allows us to continue to take positive steps forward together.
What’s on tap for your wellness plan this week? Feel free to share details, plus any thoughts today’s blog sparked, below.
May we all remember this Wednesday that the well of goodness within us runs deep.